Pick Of The Week: New
Yo La Tengo, Fade
Even 28-odd years into its existence, Yo La Tengo is nothing if not consistent. The band has released 12 full-length LPs, none of which could be considered less than pretty good. Fade, the band’s 13th record and ninth with its current line-up, should please fans and non-heads alike with its intricately layered sounds, Kraftwerk-style rhythms, and pleasingly pretty songcraft. While YLT’s extensive catalog can be a little daunting, Fade is as good a place as any to start.
Do Not Break The Seal
Mystical Weapons, Mystical Weapons
Formed a couple of years ago on a lark, Mystical Weapons is an improvisational duo made up of Sean Lennon and Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier. The group’s self-titled debut fuses shrieking guitar feedback, organ bleeps, and absolutely no vocals, resulting in a predictably off-the-wall and practically unlistenable mélange of wacky sounds. While music is art and arty music can be fantastic, it can also be heavy, belabored, insufferable dreck. Unfortunately, that’s what Mystical Weapons is.
A$AP Rocky, LongLiveA$AP
A$AP Rocky’s been living off the buzz of his debut mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP, since 2011, but with his first full-length finally seeing the light of day, music bloggers will have something to really judge him on at long last.
Christopher Owens, Lysandre
With the dissolution of his Bay Area duo Girls last year, Christopher Owens is striking out on his own with a solo debut. Lysandre probably won’t win over any Girls critics, but that probably wasn’t Owens’ goal in the first place.
Free Energy, Love Sign
Free Energy’s debut, Stuck On Nothing, was a pretty big deal when it came out in 2010, earning the band a slot on Late Show With David Letterman and dates opening for Weezer. The group’s juice has since drained a little, but Love Sign should satiate the group’s remaining fans.
Erin McKeown, Manifestra
Erin McKeown has done some left-field things in her life, including studying ornithology, performing big-band music on the regular, and holding down a recent Harvard fellowship on the intersection of music and technology, but she hasn’t collaborated with Rachel Maddow—until now. Manifestra’s “Baghdad To The Bayou,” was co-written via text message by the MSNBC anchor.
Holopaw, Academy Songs, Volume 1
Conceived and constructed as a concept album about an all-boys prep school, Academy Songs, Volume 1 takes rock-’n’-roll aim at awkward friendships, painful social truths, and ill-advised erections.
Pantha Du Prince, Elements Of Light
German electro musician Hendrik Weber, also known as Pantha Du Prince, may have originated in house music, but he’s moved up to the belfry with Elements Of Light. The record is a collaboration with Norway’s The Bell Laboratory and features the sounds of a three-ton, 50-bell carillon in addition to all the usual bloops and swooshes found in traditional minimal techno.